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 Post subject: Re: 1A SCSBOA.
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 7:56 am 
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It could be a clever show design element to make it more difficult to read the forms / marching.


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 Post subject: Re: 1A SCSBOA.
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:59 am 
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Jim Bunselmeier wrote:
It could be a clever show design element to make it more difficult to read the forms / marching.


Wouldn't this hurt their visual score? I thought it was an effect similar to what some indoor groups do to make themselves look bigger, and for misdirection. It did feel a little cluttered, but hopefully they'll have it clean for championships.


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 Post subject: Re: 1A SCSBOA.
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:29 pm 
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I'd love to see a lot of the 1A shows this year as I've only seen a few of them thus far, but since my group is performing I'll probably only catch the last 3 to perform or so.

I've seen Oxnard, Gabrielino, Simi Valley, and San Marcos (and Lancaster since that's my group) and can say they all have very different shows but all do what they do quite well. Everyone has different strengths and different aspects of their show that are their heavier focus. I think this is part of the fun of being in the audience, seeing how these various groups all deal with the limited resources afforded them as a result of having less members on the field....all while still putting on a great show.

I think it's easy for everyone to get excited about the size and power of some of the huge groups out there, but I'm always far more impressed by a strong performance from a small group because you know there is just no room to hide for those kids....and they usually don't have a large crew of instructors either.

Norman


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 Post subject: Re: 1A SCSBOA.
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:01 pm 
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Great point Norman. I agree. The smaller programs do have to rely more heavily on the individual. I think the students actually get more out of being in a small band than being in a large band. Accountability in a small group is one of the areas where students get more. I think that a student who is the only drummer in a band gets a much larger sense of importance than a student who is one of eight snares.

Part of the problem with small bands is not many kids can hang with that kind of pressure. There is no hiding in small bands. I recently heard of a student who transfered schools, avoiding a 1A band, to be an alternate in a large band.

Congrats to all who are in, or who teach at small band programs. Keep up the good fight. It is worth it for the students who stick with it.


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 Post subject: Re: 1A SCSBOA.
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 4:59 pm 
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Jim Bunselmeier wrote:

Part of the problem with small bands is not many kids can hang with that kind of pressure. There is no hiding in small bands. I recently heard of a student who transfered schools, avoiding a 1A band, to be an alternate in a large band.



This is one of the things that stings my group the most. A lot of students can't handle the pressure of constantly being on the spot. If you only have 4 trumpets and 2 parts for everything, there's no hiding at all. When there are only 30 kids marching, it's impossible for them to hide...though admittedly they can't really hide in a 4A size group either as long as the staff and judges are really doing their jobs.

I also run into the problem that a lot of students don't like the time commitment that comes with marching band (though we don't rehearse any more than similarly competitive groups)...but that's more of an issue that arises from the mentality of many of the people who live in the area I teach in.


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 Post subject: Re: 1A SCSBOA.
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:27 pm 
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It does seem that you find (see) the couple of students who never quite get the marching thing in 1A groups more than you do in the larger bands. You know they are there in the larger bands, they are just harder to find.

No breaking (to rest) in small bands. You can't say, you three take 4 measures off and come back in a letter E. We all play, all the time. Granted, some freshman still can't play all of their parts correctly....

Just remember, we LOVE our jobs!


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 Post subject: Re: 1A SCSBOA.
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:42 pm 
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magicsax22 wrote:

I've seen Oxnard, Gabrielino, Simi Valley, and San Marcos (and Lancaster since that's my group) and can say they all have very different shows but all do what they do quite well. Everyone has different strengths and different aspects of their show that are their heavier focus. I think this is part of the fun of being in the audience, seeing how these various groups all deal with the limited resources afforded them as a result of having less members on the field....all while still putting on a great show.

I think it's easy for everyone to get excited about the size and power of some of the huge groups out there, but I'm always far more impressed by a strong performance from a small group because you know there is just no room to hide for those kids....and they usually don't have a large crew of instructors either.

Norman


How's Oxnard, Gabrielino, Simi Valley, and your school? I don't recognize those names. I know San Marcos because they took home 1st in 2a championships last year.


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 Post subject: Re: 1A SCSBOA.
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:27 am 
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Gabrielino has been doing good for their first year in championships last year they got 4th this year they ended up in 3rd on the grid. Oxnard has a decent show their just really low in members they ended up 12th on the grid. I haven't seen Simi Valley perform yet I believe they were in 2a last year but I'm not sure how they have been doing I think they are 5th on the grid.


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 Post subject: Re: 1A SCSBOA.
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:33 am 
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They all definitely have their own strengths that I wish I could take for my own group. Here are some general thoughts on a few of the groups that I mentioned.

Simi wasn't on the grid for championships last year because their director was new and didn't know the procedure and missed the deadline. They have an interesting show, though I think I only saw 2 or 3 guard members at Moorpark so I'm sure that has some impact on effect scores...though I think they still did pretty well in effect and in auxiliary. Their brass section plays very well. Saw them on the field before us at Moorpark and even though we were at the back of the track we could still hear the brass section quite well.

Oxnard has been to Championships quite a few years now if memory serves. They might not be a top 6 group every year, but they are still good enough to make Champs consistently so there is something to say for that.

Gabrielino plays quite cleanly, though personally I think their drill design is kind of holding them back. I would definitely show videos of them to my students as examples of very clean performance though (actually tried to but couldn't find a good quality video of the whole show). The early season video I saw on their Facebook page was very telling that they would be a force to reckon with this season.

San Marcos has always been strong no matter what division they are in, so there's that. Personally I think their wind section is a bit better this year than last year (though intellectually I really liked the design of last years show), but as most people note, their drumline definitely overshadows the rest of the band because they are incredibly strong.

Cabrillo has an interesting show that definitely doesn't play it safe. They cover a ton of field at various times, have students singing at one point, etc. They are one whose scores have been rising in leaps so I would never count them out or assume they can't jump above the placement they came into Champs at. Not sure how many years their director has been there, but definitely seen them becoming a group to take notice of the last few years.

My group, Lancaster, is usually the group that does better in visual performance and effect than they do in music performance (probably because my drill designer doesn't hold back and I like to do visually interesting shows). We are doing pretty well in music effect this year, and the music performance scores are finally rising. Just wish we had a few more players, having only 23 winds and competing with other 1A groups that are much closer to the limit and are all wind players definitely makes things harder on us. (we've also got a video channel on youtube that we use for the kids to be able to review their performances but we do keep it public if you are curious)

All the 1A champs level groups that I've seen this year are definitely worth watching, and some of the perennials that I have not seen (LA, Charter, etc) are always worth watching. I think a few of the others were groups that did pretty well in 2A previously and just dropped down, so I'm sure they are putting on good shows as well...if they weren't, they wouldn't have made it in the top 12. 1A is way more competitive than some of the other divisions on the grid, so we'll see what happens.

I very much hope I get a chance to see a few of the groups on Saturday that I haven't seen, I always love seeing what a great small group can do and see the creative ways in which we all attack the issue of having limited resources. I do sincerely hope everyone has a great performance on Saturday. Win, lose, or draw I do this because of the experiences the students get from it, not because of trophies and plaques....though winning is always nice too.

Norman


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 Post subject: Re: 1A SCSBOA.
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:08 am 
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magicsax22 wrote:

Gabrielino plays quite cleanly, though personally I think their drill design is kind of holding them back.

San Marcos has always been strong no matter what division they are in, so there's that. Personally I think their wind section is a bit better this year than last year (though intellectually I really liked the design of last years show), but as most people note, their drumline definitely overshadows the rest of the band because they are incredibly strong.

All the 1A champs level groups that I've seen this year are definitely worth watching, and some of the perennials that I have not seen (LA, Charter, etc) are always worth watching.
Norman


I was impressed by Gabrielino's sound last year (haven't seen them this year). I had never heard of this group up to that point, so I remember thinking "Where did THEY come from?"

San Marcos breeds a culture of winning it seems, as you are correct that they do well wherever they compete. They also seem to be the only group in the smaller divisions that isolates their battery for features (a wise choice, of course).

When I saw Charter I was surprised to see so few in the Guard. It wasn't too long ago that they had a 30+ Guard, which really gave them a unique look amongst the other 1A's. Does anyone have a huge guard anymore in the smaller divisions?


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 Post subject: Re: 1A SCSBOA.
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:39 am 
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Don Lugo has 17 in their guard this year. Anyone in 1A have a larger guard than that?


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 Post subject: Re: 1A SCSBOA.
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:42 am 
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I don't think any of the 1A champs bands have huge guards. My group is 11, I think the others are similar or smaller. I know Highland HS in Palmdale (little down the freeway from me) is a 1A that has a guard of like 25 this year. They had even more last year I think. I imagine it would be a special challenge to write a show for a huge guard with a smaller band.


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 Post subject: Re: 1A SCSBOA.
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:05 am 
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magicsax22 wrote:
I don't think any of the 1A champs bands have huge guards. My group is 11, I think the others are similar or smaller. I know Highland HS in Palmdale (little down the freeway from me) is a 1A that has a guard of like 25 this year. They had even more last year I think. I imagine it would be a special challenge to write a show for a huge guard with a smaller band.


It's probably easier. With a larger guard set against a small band/battery you can take up more of the field (like Charter Oak used to do so well). I love seeing mega guards!


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 Post subject: Re: 1A SCSBOA.
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:03 pm 
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Jim Bunselmeier wrote:
Don Lugo has 17 in their guard this year. Anyone in 1A have a larger guard than that?


Tustin has 17 this year too. and only 3 seniors.

_________________
Michael Fisk
Instrumental Music Director
Tustin High School


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 Post subject: Re: 1A SCSBOA.
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:41 pm 
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17 with 3 seniors? Unless they are mostly freshmen I think I'd take that any day...my 11 are all either seniors or juniors. We only have one new student this year and she's a junior. Were expecting a few more but lost them to other things on campus. Always have a harder time recruiting for guard since they have a busy fall and spring semester, not just fall.


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